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Flat Feet, footbeads and Pain

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, I took the opportunity of a ski trip to Breck to get a new pair of boots, hopefully fitting better than my garage sale pair.  I went to a nationally known shop here in Breck and purchased a pair of Nordica NXT N1 boots for my wide, flat feet. The fitter seemed knowledgeable and helpful.  He indicated that I had flat feet and 5 degrees of pronation, something I did not know of before.  So he installed a 3 degree wedge to help with my pronation and a pair of footbeds heat-molded to my feet.  He also heat-molded the liners.  Well, my first day on the slopes, I could only do one run before quitting and going back to my room.  I was ready to quit for the day, my arches were in so much pain.  In desperation, I tried removing the footbeds and found instant relief.  I was able to hit the slopes the rest of the day and had a fine time.

  My questions are why do I need the footbeds?  Is there an advantage to getting my feet used to them?  Does the arch pain of these particular footbeds mean they are not molded properly to my feet?   Should I be using custom orthodics in my street shoes to prep my feet for the footbeds in my ski boots?  Any info will help.

post #2 of 10
A well built, properly matched, and perfectly integrated footbed should feel awesome the moment you click into your skis.

Only a poorly made, poorly matched, or poorly integrated/interfaced into the boot footbed hurts like that.

The integrated/interfaced into the boot is usually an easy fix. The Nordica boot you have has funky boot board in it that does not play nice with some types of custom foot beds. If it is poorly cast and built, that will be trickier to fix. Especially for the guy that built it. And if it is a poor match like materials too firm for your arch flexibility, it could be fixable.

I would like to know more about the boot fitters conclusion about your pronation and what he did to assess it and how he addressed it in your boot/footbed. My radar smells something funny about your statement of degrees of pronation, and what he might have done to "fix" it.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information Jim,

  The fitter first had me try to stand on one leg, bend my knee and stay balanced, which I could not easily do.  Then he had me stand on incrementally increasing foot pads.  1%, 2%, .... 5%, till I was able to do the balancing act.  I have to say, it seemed to work.  Once he determined that 5% was about what I required, he chose to put a 3% wedge in my boot, below the liner.  He felt the use of a foot base inside the liner would provide the additional 2%, possibly by shaving off from the bottom of it if need be.  

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Opps, I mean degrees, not %.

post #5 of 10

What the ****?

post #6 of 10

sounds like SBS.... were there full length shims (possibly blue in colour?)

post #7 of 10



exactly why i brought in that line of questioning........and sorry to be the bearer of bad news but.........


in my professional opinion, you have been taken for a ride. 


i will stick to the mechanics of what is not good about your set-up, and leave it up to anyone else out here that wants to chime in about the SBS system that was used during your boot fit.


first of all if there is enough room in your boot for a 3 degree full length rubber wedge, you are not in a boot that is relative to your actual foot shape and volume. there is no way that a properly fit boot can accept that decrease in volume. maybe thats why it hurts?


secondly the process of having a recreational skier stand on a moving platform and determine your ability to balance is a stupid pet trick and cannot produce reliable, accurate, or logical mechanical performance improvement. and by the way leave enough joint spacing in the command center of your foot, the subtalar joint, both directions to allow for either a good boot fit, and functional movement for good ski control.


and last but not least, of course your feet are killing you, you have a footbed that hopefully was built neutrally oriented, that is now being shoved over to the outside (in another post ask me how i know that the wedge is thick on the inside of your foot). and more than likely nothing has been done to take the angle and arch off the boot board below your footbed and the 3 degree wedge!!!!!!! 


sorry no other way to put this ( and believe me it saddens me to no end to know this stuff is being done by shops posing to be knowledgable and professional ) but, you have been punked. used like a lab rat, in a poorly devised experiment without a hypotenuse or a logical conclusion, in my humble opinion.......



post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ouch! (and that isn't just my feet talking).  :( I hope there were no hidden cameras in the store and that my balancing act won't end up on Youtube.  I still have to hope that the boots and liners themselves were a good purchase.  Since I'm a recreational skier who only hits the real slopes once a year, I think I'll be able to make use of them as I felt comfortable enough in the boots and liners alone to get me through a full day of skiing.  Where I live, (SE Minnesota) there are probably no reputable fitters and I'll need to wait till my next western trip to have a chance to find someone who can help me correct my mistake.  Thanks all for your advice.  

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes, blue.  That's it exactly.  

post #10 of 10

everything Jim says is as it sounds, i have a guy who uses my store a as base, does about 1 day a month often less doing balance assessments,he has people who love this system.... this product can work for "some" skiers but  


1 it has to be used with care

2 i don't think i have ever seen him use more than 2 degrees in the past 3 years, the idea is the help tune balance and get an even medial/lateral range of motion NOT to BLOCK things

3 has to be interfaced into the boot with the footbed from the beginning



so why is he only using very small shims? basically because if you have a great footbed then you don't need to screw with it!


the 3 degree shim you have in there is huge,you do have a footbed as well?  i really hope so as i have seen this shim put in instead of a footbed which is normally why a large shim is used, that and the operator trying to BLOCK ALL pronation of the foot, strangely enough some pronation of your foot is really useful!




hopefully all can be resolved for you by a decent bootfitter, looks like if you are heading west you should swing by Truckee and see Jim and his team

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